Fernando Alonso refuses to rule out dating Taylor Swift

Fernando Alonso hasn't claimed four consecutive podiums since he raced for Ferrari in 2012.

To no surprise at all given the rumours which have been circulating ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso spent the majority of Thursday being asked if he’s dating pop icon Taylor Swift, something he’s neither confirmed nor denied.

The suggestion that Alonso and Swift could be dating started after it was shared by an anonymous Instagram account, with the rumour having since gone viral.

As a result, he was asked several times if the rumour was true, with a Sky Sports reporter having asked him if he was dating Swift by throwing lots of her song titles into the question.

“I am just focused on Baku, and racing. Let’s see,” Alonso stated, whilst grinning from ear to ear.

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After failing to answer if the rumour was true, the 41-year-old got on to discussing this weekend and the new sprint format, which will see a normal qualifying session on Friday, followed by a shortened qualifying session on Saturday to determine the grid for the sprint race.

“The new format of the weekend is extremely complex for a driver,” Alonso admitted.

“The first time to get in the car on Saturday, you tie your belt, and it’s Q1. That will be a new thing for all of us.”

With the addition of a second qualifying session, the drivers will have just one practice session at the Baku City Circuit this weekend.

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This is something which will certainly see FP1 full of action, given how much data will need to be gathered in the session.

“In a way, that was already in any other sprint weekend,” Alonso said, when asked if the lack of practice will make a difference.

“We had only FP1 before quali so we are used to that pressure. But Saturday is the biggest difference for us at the moment.

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“I went to the simulator last week to try to replicate what the weekend is and see the challenges. We will try to pay more attention, come earlier to the track tomorrow and make sure FP1 is as simple and clear as possible. It’s a new thing for everyone, but we will try to do our job.”

Despite the new format, Alonso is “optimistic” that he can continue his run of finishing on the podium at every race this season, with the Spaniard believing that the high-speed circuit “should be okay for us”.

“We will see how many updates people brought here, but this circuit should be okay for us… let’s see how we are in terms of top speed but, yeah, I’m optimistic,” said Alonso.